The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) periodically conducts studies on the rate of crashes and compiles data on the fatalities, injuries, property damage, and causes of these types of accidents. The most recent study has shown that the rate of fatalities following a large truck accident has increased by almost 30% since 2009. The study showed that there has been about an 8% increase in large truck accidents since the last time the study was conducted. Furthermore, there has been about a 2% increase in bus accidents. The study also found that the distance traveled by large trucks has increased by about 0.3%. Most pertinent is that at least one driver-related issue was noted for almost 35% of fatalities related to large truck accidents.
The FMCSA noted that speeding was the most noted driver-related factor in these accidents, but the second was distraction and then impairment. Impairment is considered to consist of things such as illness, intoxication, and fatigue.
Fatigue occurs when a truck driver is physically or mentally exerted to a point at which their performance is impaired. Some common reasons for this may be long work hours, inadequate sleep or rest, and difficult or laborious work.